Burlington First Night celebrates 30 years - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington First Night celebrates 30 years

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A Burlington New Year's Eve tradition turns 30 Monday.

Beginning on the last day of 1983 and every New Year's Eve since, thousands of Vermonters head to Burlington for the sober shindig known as First Night.

"We've pulled out all the stops this year," said Jen Crowell, First Night's Executive Director. "It is non-stop, noon to midnight."

This year, organizers brought on an additional 20 acts, raising the total to nearly 100.
 A $20 dollar button grants spectators admittance to most shows. Tickets will be required for a few select performances and are selling fast. Crowell said good weather helps, but poor weather shouldn't hurt much. "The only thing that it might complicate a little bit is parking," she said.

The annual first night celebration is on a hiatus this year in Vermont's capital. "I think that the interest has remained pretty stable, so we have had trouble trying to grow it," said Phayvanh Luekhamhan with Montpelier Alive.

Luekhamhan said there will still be a few -- mostly adult-themed -- events Monday, but that they are focusing resources on introducing MontPolar Frostival this February.

"We are hearing from the community that they are disappointed but that they're hoping that next year we'll be able to get some more and different programming," Luekhamhan said.
She said a similar event may return but likely drop the "First Night" name.

Burlington became the fifth city to signup for First Night in 1983, but is now the second-longest running. "The number one reason we're still here 30 years later is the community," Crowell said.

Eleven-thousand are expected to attend this year. Volunteers are still needed and get free admission. All are promised a good time.

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